How to break up with a friend

How to break up with a friend

The time has come. You have done the review and there is a person in your life who has to go. I am not talking about “has to go” in terms of a criminal act here, I mean you need to break up with a friend. Why don’t we talk more often about breaking up in friendships? You break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. It is all drama and snotty Kleenex and wine and then you move on. So why do we endlessly drag on unpleasant or hurtful friendships? Is it habit or do we just not know how to break it off? What you do, and how, and the eventual impact of it all depends on whether your friend is super close or a bit further out. There are a number of different ways of doing the deed. If you know somebody in law enforcement you could have them go tell the person you are in the witness protection program and have moved on. From personal experience you should only try that one if you are actually moving away. In reality it is messy and ugly and painful to sever ties. If you are like most people, you will likely pick the passive aggressive method as a default. Over time, you will just become less available or non-responsive. That works pretty well with sensitive people who get the hint. It is mysterious and hurtful, but over time effective. People who are less tuned in, (and face it if they were less of an asshat you might not be mulling over dumping them) may not cotton on to that. Social convener types for instance, often don’t notice if you have said no to the last four party invitations. Your little ploy may not work, and you may have to sack up and say something. You can go direct, which is all guts and blood emotionally, and could result in you hearing exactly what dysfunction you contributed to the relationship. This takes some fortitude, but is much quicker and arguably more respectful. If you have been harbouring a hurt feeling or two from the person you should probably deal with it directly. Just shuffling the person off into the ignore zone won’t solve your hurt. Let me be clear, the world likes to tell you there are no right or wrong answers… but there are. You don’t do it by text, and don’t do it on their Facebook wall, because that makes the person you are dumping the one who is better off because you are the asshole. You can do it by email with a thoughtful message, to give the person time to think it over. If the alternative of doing it face...
Would you do a report card for your friendships?

Would you do a report card for your friendships?

Have you ever considered doing report cards for your relationships? Would you give top marks to the people in your life? Are there some you would send back to remedial class? Many people’s longer term friendships form in our younger years at University or early in our careers. Now, thanks to Facebook we can even hang on to old friends from primary school. Because you have sooo much in common with that weird kid from Grade 1 that you rush to the computer to see her cat pictures. Oh and then there is that big dolt who couldn’t spell in grade four who still writes the same way in his status updates, about his truck and his huntin’. High quality relationships you have there sunshine. Sometimes as new parents we collect friends that we pick up in the meat market known as “toddler playgroups”. I don’t know about you but if their kid wasn’t a monster, and the Mom wasn’t at total freak, I held on for dear life to stave off the tsunami of Mamadroids that come out of nowhere as soon as you have a baby. Where the frig did these women come from anyway? I remember when I was on maternity leave with my first born and went to the one and only infant and Mom social group I would ever attend, a woman showed me her cracked nipples. I backed away and told her I was sorry for her troubles… CRAZY LADY! So the pool from which we pick friends can sometimes remain shallow and kind of mucky. Some friends are amazing, some are dramatic and others are simply an old habit. Like that ancient pair of sweat pants that look like crap on you, but you just can’t seem to get rid of them. If you had to sit down and really look at your relationships with a set of checkpoints, how would they do? Lets try it shall we? Pick a person in your circle of friends, to make it easy, choose somebody either really close or alternatively, an acquaintance you half heartedly make time to see. Here are some questions you could run through, and it won’t take fancy math to come up with some clear answers. We are going to call this person a “her” because let’s be honest, women are more likely to think about this stuff. (If you are a guy doing this about a male friend, then good on you sweetie) Do you mull over small resentments about her? Do you struggle to find time to see her and then not really look forward to it when you do have plans? When you talk is there a major imbalance in who is listening and who...
How do you explain bombings and shootings to kids?

How do you explain bombings and shootings to kids?

Tonight many parents had to make a hard choice. Do we explain the Boston Marathon bombings to our children, and if so, how do we do it? It seems like just short time ago we were agonizing about how to make sense of the Newtown slaughter of small children. And now another monster from the outside world is reaching out of the radio, tv and computer to show your child that there is such deep evil in the world. Before I got home from work, my children’s grandparent chose to tell them of the bombings. I was really angry because I hadn’t processed it myself, and would have preferred to be there when they heard. It got me to thinking, how do you tell them, and what ages should they be to hear that there is hatred so deep out there that people are willing to maim and kill innocent people? When exactly does anybody get old enough to handle that sort of information? Some advice from my sofa tonight. I focused on the stories that rose from the ashes of destruction. The firefighters, paramedics and police who picked injured people up their arms and ran them to safety. We talked about the marathoners that immediately went to give blood, and help any way they could. We watched the outpouring of help and concern from the whole rest of the world. I told my children that for the few crazy misguided zealots and criminals who commit massive crimes against humanity, there are millions of other good people who would sooner die than hurt another human. I held them tight and told them I would keep them safe, and for a moment I almost believed myself. Also find me on Blunt Moms and Huffington...